Eurovision 2019

#CHOIR19: Introducing Latvia – Babite Mixed Choir MASKA

Latvia return for the second Eurovision Choir contest, after taking part in the augural edition in Riga, two year’s ago. This year, the Latvian’s will be represented by Babite Mixed Choir MASKA and will feature third in the running order.

The following biography about Babite Mixed Choir MASKA has been sourced from the EBU Press Handbook. Therefore the following biography is credited to the European Broadcasting Union:

Mixed choir “MASKA” of Babite Municipality, founded in 2000 by its conductor and artistic director Jānis Ozols is one of the best mixed choirs in Latvia. The choir is unique by its ability to perform not only in the frame of classical music, but also introduce creative innovations.

“MASKA” is proud of its success and high achievements over time. Since the early days the choir has shown itself as an ambitious and creative collective, while actively performing in Latvia and abroa d as well as taking part in international choir competitions (Slovenia, Czech Republic Estonia, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia and others).

The choir’s repertoire covers a vast range of music – from sacral to folk, classical to contemporary music, always searching for new interpretations of choral music and enriching their performance often surprising the audience with ingenious performance solutions. The choir cooperates w ith beloved and world-known Latvian musicians – such like marimba virtuoso and composer Rihards Zalupe, Renate Stivrina, Janis Sipkevics (Shipsi), the world famous pianist and composer Vestards Simkus and Lithuanian composer Vytautas Miskinis, Estonian composer Part Uusberg have dedicatedtheir compositions to choir “MASKA”.

An essential part of the choir’s repertoire is compositions written by Laura Jekabsone – choir-masterof “MASKA”, world-wide known as a composer and leader of the vocal group “Latvian Voices”. Herpieces composed for “MASKA” are performed worldwide in concerts and competitions.

Choir’s annual tradition is organizing a concert at Christmas time “ChristMASKAs”, performing worldpremieresof opuses commissioned tothe choir withthe best Latvianmusicians.

The choir has released two CDs – “7 Stories of the Gospel of Thomas” with music composed by Rihards Zaļupe and performed with the instrumental group “XylemTrio” was released in 2010 and choir’s 15th Anniversary year which was celebrated by several concerts and a release of a CD“WINTER” including music composed by Laura Jekabsone especially for choir “Maska”. In this project choir “Maska” performed together with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra string group, aswell as the young and talented musicians – pianist Aurelija Simkus, guitar virtuoso Gints Smukais andkokle ensemble “Balti”.

In summer 2019 the choir will release their newest CD including music commissioned by the choir. InJuly “Maska” will be on tour in Japan, giving concerts and participating in 35th Takarazuka International Choir Competition and 2nd Tokyo International Choir Competition.Mixed choir “MASKA” of Babite Municipality, founded in 2000 by its conductor and artistic director Jānis Ozols is one of the best mixed choirs in Latvia. The choir is unique by its ability to perform not only in the frame of classical music, but also introduce creative innovations.

“MASKA” is proud of its success and high achievements over time. Since the early days the choir has shown itself as an ambitious and creative collective, while actively performing in Latvia and abroa d as well as taking part in international choir competitions (Slovenia, Czech Republic Estonia, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia and others).

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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